An Indiana man is accused of dismembering his girlfriend’s body with a chainsaw and
putting the remains in trash bags, after he says she died after they were both smoking
Edward A. Bagwell, 60, was charged July 8 with abuse of a corpse and failure to report
human remains. He’s being held at the Benton County Jail on a $300,000 bond.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed by prosecutors, Bagwell told Indiana State
Police detectives that he and Rita Spigner smoked methamphetamine, and then she
began acting erratically and scratching at his leg. He said he slapped Spigner in the
head to get her to stop, but she fell and began convulsing, and he later found her dead,
court records state.
Prosecutors believe she died July 1.
Bagwell told officers he used his electric chain saw to cut off Spigner’s legs and placed
them in one trash bag, and her torso in another, according to the affidavit.
Bagwell told a friend what he had done, and that friend called the police, according to
the affidavit. Benton County deputies arrived at Bagwell’s home in Ambia, a small town
just east of the Illinois border, on July 3 and found Spigner’s bloody bagged remains.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier reports that an autopsy showed Spigner died from
“heart troubles consistent with abuse of methamphetamine.”
The Associated Press reports that court records do not list an attorney who can speak
on behalf of Bagwell.